With four months to go until the next edition of the capital's major art fair, the event is firmly settled on Saadiyat Island, attracting more visitors every year, with most of the galleries from last year due for a return showing.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), the body that organises the fair, announced yesterday that 91 per cent of the contemporary art and design galleries that displayed their artists in 2012 have signed up for booths for this year's fifth edition, which runs from November 20 to 23.
Rita Aoun-Abdo, the executive director of the culture sector at TCA Abu Dhabi, said this response proves Abu Dhabi is fast becoming a leading platform for culture, not only in the region but also internationally.
"Cultivating an art market is an important step in the maturity of any cultural hub and Abu Dhabi Art is one of the many driving forces behind this progress," she says.
Criticism surrounding the fair's viability in the shadow of the older and more established Art Dubai, coupled with some teething problems, seems to be fading away as the fair takes on new maturity. This year, the fair will include modern and contemporary galleries, emerging galleries and a section for established galleries exhibiting emerging artists.
Fabrice Bousteau, the editor of Paris's Beaux Arts magazine, will also return to curate Art, Talks and Sensations and the public programme is expanding.